#GivingTuesday at the Garden Church

We are committed to feeding people…in mind, body, and spirit. 

On this #GivingTuesday, will you join us in making a difference in the world as we re-imagine church and engage in innovative ways to bring more heaven, here on earth?
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Online fundraising for Seed Money for The Garden Church

Dear Garden Church friends and family!

Part of re-imagining church is re-imagining our funding sources and methods. The way the world works is changing, and the funding for new expressions of church aren’t primarily coming from our institutions any more.

Instead, we have the opportunity to build a community of support made up of individuals who share our passion. We believe there are people all over who want to be part of doing something to make the world a better place—perhaps including you!

We need to raise $2,000 a month for the next year from our Cultivation Team. That’s 200 people giving $10 a month, or 100 giving $20, or 50 people giving $40—you get the idea. Give what amount is right for you, monthly for the next year, and be an essential part of the team that is re-imagining church and bringing more heaven here on earth. (If you’re wondering why the bar graph says more, that’s because razzo counts one-time and monthly gifts as the same. We are recieving and appreciating both! And our overarching goal is $2,000 in monthly pledges).

We are so incredibly grateful for the stories and pledges that have been rolling in from across the world over the past few weeks as people are joining the team.

Today is the last day of our three-week crowd-funding goal. Will you join with others from across the globe to ensure the Garden Church has the support it needs to grow and thrive serve in this start-up season?

With deep gratitude and joy for all that is and for all that is to come,
Anna and the Garden Church team

“With every tree, there’s this incredible network of beauty. There are the limbs, the branches. And we see all of this springing up from the ground. Also, underneath the ground, there is an equally intricate network of roots, of support.  This system that keeps the tree upheld…I decided that I want to be a part of it. I want to be a part of growing something new, growing something beautiful. ”  -Carol Howard Merritt, Author 

Watch Carol share more: 

Join us in this work today! 

My Begging Bowl

photoReflecting on how food and hunger are approached in different cultures,
through asking the question: 

What Do I Need in My Begging Bowl?

Is it frivolous to think first of a fresh flower?  A golden glowing dahlia or a creamy calla lily? If not a fresh piece of beauty each day, I beg, a rich purple glaze on the inside of my vessel, streaks of midnight blues and blood reds running through it. Color. Beauty. It feeds me. 

What do I need in my daily bowl? It seems that food is the obvious main answer. Is it not that which sustains us, or not, each day?  If I was begging would I have a choice of what food goes in my bowl? Would what I know about my body’s needs and allergies be relevant? Would I eat the piece of bread when offered, knowing the hunger pains are worse than the stiff joints, low energy, and intestinal trauma that the gluten will bring?

Would I beg for rice and meat, fresh vegetables and fruit?

If I was a monk, living from a begging bowl, I think I’d do better in India than here in this country of material wealth.  India where I picture the small dwellings, side by side with their red mud walls. Doors that are used to being knocked on, a culture where the alms bowl are filled.

In my story, they would share a bit from what they had, rice, veggies, a bite of meat on a good day, a piece of fresh fruit from the tree in the yard.

I could live on these offerings.

I begin to feel hollow when I imagine taking my bowl through the suburban streets of Anytown, USA.  Walking up driveways, past garages, to ring doorbells. Doorbells rarely answered due to all family members scattered across town in office buildings and Little League fields. Doorbells with their electric “ding-dong” calling one to the door, with a confused look, who is this orange-sheet-clad woman, standing at the door with a ceramic bowl?

When confusion moved to compassion, “Oh, she is asking for food,” the response trying to be giving, but impractical: a can of creamed corn and a jar of tomato sauce.

One house empty and the next.  The next yelled at, and the next only a barking dog.

The family through the dining room window, it’s dinnertime. You see the empty pizza box peeking through the kitchen counter.

What do I need in my bowl? I need simple rice, a bit of meat, fresh vegetables from the nearby garden. A calla lily, present to the beauty of the moment and those brilliant streaks of red and blue and purple running over and pooling inside.

“There is Only One Earth” Reflections on consumerism, personal choice and the global community

A friend of mine posted this words on his Facebook status this morning. I found them to be words that connect with thoughts and feelings I’ve been mulling recently, and appreciated the way he articulated them. A prophetic voice in the world of consumerism, exclusive nationalism, and economic examination.

“There is only one earth. One human race. But there are indeed many brilliant ways for us to establish peace on earth. The 1st worlds have done an amazing job establishing wealth and power over time and those lucky enough to be living near the top of the economic spectrum – isn’t it grand to eat and drink what you want when you want it! What good is it really to anyone to have just the 1st-world countries living so luxurious and powerful while less powerful countries get exploited of natural-resoruces and unimaginable-treasures? The solution to world peace is the art of sacrificing wealth and power by distributing it to those who really need it. (BTW… I’m not talking about communism or putting native-tribesmen in business suites and having them work in cubicles). How much does the 1st-world really need to consume to be happy? What the 1st world really needs is to experience poverty themselves so they realize how selfish the 1st-world’s mind-set is really being – it’s like one child with a big bowl of the worlds most tasty rice, scarfing his lonely face in the corner, staring at the wall – while six hungry children stare at his back through a glass wall – remember they are hungrier than the last time you felt hunger. Let us call the natural-resources/energy-consumption of the 1st-worlds 100% and so we realize now that we could be even happier in life with just 30% and less cash-money bling–bling. The redirection of that 70% to areas of natural-disaster and poverty would give those people living in poverty and dire-situations an alternative to unwanted lives of prostitution, crime, violence and terror. Consider the ghettos in the USA. Why are they full of prostitution, crime and violence? Because the children and schools in the ghettos are impoverished. Those children living in the USA don’t really live in the 1st world i.e. they don’t eat what they want when they want it… or drink a coffee everyday.” –Jared Alden